「いつか聴いた音」 (Itsuka Kii Ta Oto)
“The Sound You Hear Sometimes”
With the impending arrival of Charlotte’s mid-way point, one thing’s for sure: the series is keeping all its cards close at hand. The arrival of another “ability user of the week” continues the trend we’ve seen over the past few episodes, and in that regard, nothing really changes here. Tomori’s still got a way with words, Otosaka’s arguably the most sane of the bunch, Takajou’s drooling over Yusa as always, and Yusa herself is busy letting herself be taken over by her sister as per the usual. Things get resolved relatively peacefully (and quickly) for the most part though, and one wonders if this isn’t a prelude to something more.
Granted, we’ve been wondering when things would pick up—or at least change/escalate in some way—for a little bit now, and while next week doesn’t promise to bring the revelations we expect, there are some definitely signs that something is coming. Takajou’s literal warning about future challenges looms ominously in the background, and one could argue the minor differences we see this episode could be more harbingers of things to come. The fact that the Otosaka’s didn’t have a meal with pizza sauce for the first time all series is one such example, and it’s certainly curious that the development comes on the heels of Ayumi suddenly getting sick and Otosaka having yet another dream about the supposed “missing family member.”
Either way, there’s certainly a lot more questions than answers at this point, and the “group torture” of Tomori fits in as yet another in the series of differences we saw this week. Last I checked, we didn’t really receive any real background as to why it happened, but the fact that the incident is seemingly waved off quite quickly makes me suspicious of it as a key development, and one wonders if/how it may affect either Tomori or Otosaka in the future. The latter’s inaction could lead to his involvement in a later week—it looks like this isn’t the first time she’s been “tortured” this way—but it’s certainly interesting that even Takajou seems to stay out of it. That said, it’s possible that we’re already seeing the effects of this treatment via how Tomori generally acts, and if so, the pieces are slowly coming together for her as a character.
Here’s hoping that some of the pieces start coming together sooner rather than later though, because for all the potential series this has, there’s a part of me starting to feel anxious about whether or not it’ll fulfill it at this point. There’s just not much differentiating Charlotte from other Maeda Jun works (especially when you think about Angel Beats!) at the moment, and there’s certainly a case to be made about the main cast still feeling a bit piecemeal in comparison as well. We’ve gotten used to the main cast’s shenanigans, and it’s fun at times to watch, but it feels like that’s mostly it. Things just don’t seem to be fully together yet, and the fact that I don’t feel particularly strongly for or about any of the cast members at the moment looms as an obstacle that will only grow larger as the series progresses. At least though, Maeda Jun’s someone you can trust to succeed despite this, and I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see.